Monday, September 29, 2014

Video Of The Week: Smooth Sculling with the Sinkovic Brothers



This week's video is a beautiful example of the kind of sculling technique that might just get you a sub-6 minute result, and a world championship title. At least, it worked for the Sinkovic brothers. This dynamic duo not only scored their first world gold medal in Amsterdam (as a double, that is—the brothers had won gold as part of the Croatian M4x last year, following a silver in London), but also did so ahead of a tightly packed field in a time of 6:00.52—only slightly off their own World Best Time in the event from the A/B semifinal (a 5:59.72) at the Bosbaan. While we're all getting our long and low strokes in this fall, it's important to think about consistency of technique and execution. The Sinkovic brothers stressed this idea in our VOTW last week, and here Martin and Valent are shown applying that theory to the fullest.

And there's more good news. The Sinkovici are coming to the Head Of The Charles this year, taking on several other very competitive crews in the Championship Double, including a new-look combo of Ondrej Synek and Olaf Tufte, as well as John and Peter Graves. With all of the big names heading to Boston this year for the 50th anniversary of the Charles (including multiple 'Great Eights' and men's and women's Championship Singles fields that read like world championship finals), it's sure to be every bit as epic as expected.

Note to readers: We ran across this video thanks to the Facebook page, "Centre of Applied Fluid Dynamic Leverage," which is a great place to go for technique-oriented rowing videos in its own right—check it out! Have a submission for 'Video Of The Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, send us your suggestions via Twitter, or get in touch via our Facebook or Google+ pages.

-RR

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Moving Rowing Forward: The Evolution of Onboard Data Measurement Systems

Looking over the boat, IRAs 2013 (Photo: B. Kitch)

The development of the first Concept2 ergometer by the Dreissigacker Brothers in the early 1980s helped rowing make its first quantum leap in terms of affordable, objective data measurement systems. The erg was, and still is, the great equalizer—you can compare your split times, wattage, and power curves to the likes of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray in a real and meaningful way, whether you're sitting next to the Kiwi Pair at the Rowing New Zealand training facility, or in a boathouse on the Charles River. Now, of course, there are a variety of quality options for indoor rowing machines. However, more and more, the rowing world has been pushing for that next step—bringing those objective measuring systems and tools on board while on the water.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Stop Seat-racing: The Future of Crew Selection, with Virginia Head Coach Frank Biller

The Cavalier men training in winter (Photo: Frank Biller)

For any coach, often the most difficult part of the job is selection. And, it's an area that is in need of innovation. While seat-racing is the most commonly accepted means of determining the fastest crew, it is inherently flawed, given the number of variables at play in any given piece. Just think about the number of unknowns when coaches look to seat race athletes (shudder) in eights—not only are there 16 other crew members (including coxswains) involved, but also issues of current, wind speed, water conditions, etc. These problems are only somewhat reduced when it comes to seat-racing in fours. Another way that coaches look to build lineups is through pair matrices, but again, the different dynamics involved in moving a pair versus an eight can skew results (especially when athletes lack experience in small boats). So how can we move this process forward? Virginia Men's Rowing head coach Frank Biller has a few ideas.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Video Of The Week: Talking Technique with Some of the World's Best Scullers



This week's video is another strong interview piece from World Rowing FISA, checking in on technique and coaching with three of the world's best sculling crews: The Sinkovic brothers of Croatia (2014 world champions and holders of the new World Best Time in the M2x—a blistering 5:59.72), Jérémie Azou and Stany Delayre of France (2014 world silver medalists in the LM2x), and New Zealand's Emma Twigg (2014 world champion in the W1x). As we get into the 2014-2015 season in earnest, there's never a better time to focus on learning and applying our technique on the water—right now, the cadences are low, and it's very important to take full advantage of the extra time to ingrain the right movements and sequences into our muscle memory. And, the first chance to test our progress against the world is only a few short weeks away: The 50th Head Of The Charles is just 26 days from now. Will you be ready?

Coming up this Wednesday: An inside look at the evolution of crew selection with Virginia men's head coach Frank Biller.

Have a submission for 'Video Of The Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, send us your suggestions via Twitter, or get in touch via our Facebook or Google+ pages.

-RR

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The 2014 RoRys, Part Three: The Elite Level


Can you believe we're already halfway through another Olympic cycle? The 'sophomore' season as we head toward Rio was filled with ups and downs, and wild turnarounds (and loads more prepositions) making for a great ride, as well as altering the competitive landscape from last year's World Rowing Championships in South Korea. And so, it is our great pleasure to reveal to you our picks for the 2014 RoRy Awards at the elite level...